Hanscom Federal Credit Union Review - Everything You Need to Know

Find out what we have to say about this Massachusetts-based credit union

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Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers a wide array of financial services to federal government workers and retirees living in Massachusetts.

For those who are eligible to join, the credit union can serve as a standalone financial institution to address most banking needs.

Hanscom FCU operates 20 branches in Massachusetts, including six in Boston. Members also have access to shared branches with more than two dozen other credit unions in Massachusetts.

Pros

  • Full suite of services including banking, loans, insurance, and investing

  • Competitive interest rates

  • APY of 5% for the first year on a CU Thrive account

  • Mobile banking app with mobile check deposit

  • Vacation and holiday club accounts

  • Access to more than 100,000 in-network ATMs

Cons

  • Membership restricted largely to certain people in Massachusetts

  • Branches concentrated in the Boston area

  • High minimum balances required to get the best interest rates or normal savings accounts and CDs

Eligibility

Hanscom Federal Credit Union is open to all active or retired employees of the Federal Government in Massachusetts, as well as immediate family members and other family members living in their household. Once you become a Hanscom FCU member, you can remain a member for life.

In addition, the following people are also eligible:

  • Anyone working for a Hanscom FCU Partner Company.
  • Active or retired military service members.
  • An employee or retired federal employee of a federal government agency with a duty station in Massachusetts.

Hanscom FCU has a charitable foundation that distributes 100% of the money it receives to various causes in Massachusetts. Grants have gone to support veterans with traumatic brain injuries, families experiencing homelessness, and children’s health.

Types of Accounts and Services

Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers the following types of accounts and services in the U.S.:

  • Savings Accounts
  • Checking Accounts
  • Money Market Account
  • Share Certificates (CDs)
  • Kids Accounts
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Mortgages
  • Home Equity Loans
  • Auto Loans
  • Boat, Motorcycle and RV Loans
  • Car Leasing Alternative
  • Personal Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Student Loans
  • Credit Cards
  • Retirement Planning and Insurance

All Hanscom Federal Credit Union bank accounts are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration. 

Hanscom FCU is offering a $30 bonus to any member who recruits someone else to become a member. The new member will also receive $30 when completing their membership.

Savings Accounts

Hanscom FCU offers five savings account options with various benefits and interest rates.

  • Primary Savings: No monthly fee and just a $25 minimum balance to open. Through the PayDay Perqs program, members can be paid up to two days early with direct deposit. It pays a 0.4% annual percentage yield, and interest is compounded daily and paid monthly.
  • Higher Yield Savings: Restricted to those with balances of $25,000 or more. It earns an annual percentage yield of 2%, and account holders are permitted one withdrawal per month with no fees.
  • CU Thrive: If you have a Hanscom FCU checking account, you can make automatic transfers of $5 to $500 into your CU Thrive account. For the first year, you’ll receive a very generous APY of 5%.
  • Kasasa Saver: You can open an account with just $1 and receive a 1.49% interest rate for balances under $50,000. Anything over $50,000 will receive an APY of 0.40%. Kasasa Saver accounts must be linked to a Kasasa Cash or Kasasa Cash Back checking account.
  • Secondary Savings: It's great to use as an extra account to allow you to save for a specific goal, and it pays an APY of 0.40%.
  • Holiday and Vacation Club Accounts: It's similar to secondary savings accounts, where you can save up for a trip or the holiday shopping season. You can start with $1 and receive an APY of 0.40%.

Checking Accounts

Hanscom FCU offers four checking account options.

  • Free Checking: No monthly maintenance fee and a $1 minimum balance.
  • Premier Checking: No maintenance fee if you maintain an average daily balance of $2,000, or $6,000 in all of your savings and loans. There is a $9.95 monthly charge if this balance is not met.
  • Kasasa Cash Back Checking: Get 2% cash back on debit card purchases as long as you make 12 transactions and have direct deposit. (Maximum of $84 per year.) There is no minimum balance requirement.
  • Kasasa Cash Checking: Earn 2.5% cash back on debit card purchases if you maintain a balance of $15,000 or more. You must make at least 12 debit card transactions and have direct deposit. 

Money Market Account

Hanscom offers a money market account with interest rates that rise based on the account balance.

Money Market Account
Balance Dividend Rate % APY %
Less than $2,000 0% 0%
$2,000 to $9,999.99 0.65% 0.65%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 0.85% 0.85%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.95% 0.95%
$50,000 to $74,999.99 1.05% 1.05%
$75,000 and over 1.14% 1.15%

Share Certificates (CDs)

Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers share certificates (also commonly known as certificates of deposit) offering higher interest rates for customers willing to save their money for a specific term.

In all cases, dividends from the certificates accrue daily and post on the last day of the month.

Easy Start certificates allow for additional deposits during the term and have a minimum opening deposit of $250. Regular certificates require a minimum balance of $1,000 and do not accept additional deposits.

If you withdraw money early from a certificate, you may pay a penalty. For accounts with a maturity of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days' dividends on the amount withdrawn. For those accounts older than one year, the penalty is 180 days' dividends.

Share Certificates (CDs)
Term Dividend Rate % APY %
EasyStart 3, 6, or 12 months 1.09% 1.10%
3 to 5 months 1.09% 1.10%
6 to 11 months 1.19% 1.20%
12 to 17 months 1.74% 1.75%
18 to 29 months 2.13% 2.15%
19-month special 2.96% 3.00%
30 to 59 months 2.47% 2.50%
48 months 3.06% 3.10%
60 months 2.96% 3.00%

Kids Accounts

Parents can get their kids started on saving money with an account that has no fees and a minimum balance of $25. You can link a kids' account to your own savings or checking account for easy transfers of money.

Traditional and Roth IRAs

HFCU members can open individual retirement accounts using a money market account or certificate. With a traditional IRA, the money you deposit is deducted from your taxable income. With a Roth IRA, money grows tax-free until you can withdraw funds at age 59 ½. Dividend rates vary depending on the amount of funds deposited.

Traditional and Roth IRAs
IRA Money Market (min balance of $2,000) Dividend Rate % APY %
$2,000 to $9,999 0.65% 0.65%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 0.85% 0.85%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.95% 0.95%
$50,000 to $74,999.99 1.05% 1.05%
$75,000 and over 1.14% 1.15%
IRA Certificates (min balance of $500)    
6 months 1.19% 1.20%
12 months 1.74% 1.75%
18 months 2.13% 2.15%
30 months 2.47% 2.50%
60 months 2.96% 3.00%

Mortgages

Hanscom FCU offers home loan options with various terms and interest rates. Rates will vary depending on the size of loan and credit-worthiness of the borrower. But the credit union averages the following rates based on a $100,000 loan and 740 credit score:

  • 30-year fixed rate: 4.424%
  • 20-year fixed rate: 4.316%
  • 15-year fixed rate: 3.833%
  • 5/1 ARM: 4.754%

The credit union also offers an adjustable rate mortgage for first-time homebuyers with no-money-down. The mortgage is advertised as a 30-year, 7/1 ARM. This means that for the first seven years, the interest rate is fixed. After that, the rate will adjust no more than 1% per year, and no more than 5% over the life of the loan. The loan allows for home purchases in six New England states, Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C. You must have a credit score of at least 720 and a debt-to-income ratio below 43%.

Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit

Hanscom FCU will help you use the equity in your home to access cash. Hanscom advertises home equity loans with terms as long as 20 years. Rates range from 4.74% for shorter and smaller loans to 6.74% for larger, longer-term loans.

Auto Loans

Hanscom FCU can assist you in purchasing a new or used car. Here’s a look at the lowest rates offered for various loan terms.

Auto Loans
Term Lowest available Annual Percentage Rate % Payment per $1,000
Up to 24 months 2.74% 42.87
25 to 36 months 3.24% 29.19
37 to 48 months 3.44% 22.33
49 to 65 months 3.69% 17.00
66 to 75 months 3.94% 15.06
76 to 84 months 4.74% 14.01

Boat, Motorcycle, and RV Loans

Hanscom FCU can also help you purchase other vehicles. Here are the published rates for loans on boats, recreation vehicles, and motorcycles.

Boat, Motorcycle, and RV Loans
Term Lowest Available Annual Percentage Rate % Payment per $1,000
Up to 24 months 3.24% 43.09
25 to 36 months 3.74% 29.41
37 to 48 months 3.94% 22.55
49 to 65 months 4.19% 17.22
66 to 75 months 4.44% 15.29
76 to 84 months 5.24% 14.25

Car Leasing Alternative

Hanscom FCU offers a lease-like program, in which you have the title of the car and can sell it, trade, or return the car at the end of your loan term. Under the Better Than a Lease Loan program, the credit union promises lower monthly payments than a traditional lease, and no security deposit or down payment.

Personal Loans

You can obtain a personal loan for up to 60 months with an annual percentage rate as low as 8.49%. That represents a monthly payment of $20.51 based on the maximum term length. A line of credit is also available with rates as low as 8.49%.

Student Loans

Need help paying for school? Hanscom FCU will allow you to borrow between $2,000 and $30,000 annually. Interest rates range from 8.5 to 15.5% depending on term and credit status. Applicants who do not have at least 36 months of credit history and a job that pays $24,000 will require a co-signer.

Retirement Planning and Insurance

Through Hanscom Financial Services, members can access a range of investing options to help them with long-term savings goals. Hanscom FCU partners with LPL Financial to offer one-on-one consulting a wide arrange of stocks, mutual funds, bonds and other securities. Hanscom will also assist with IRA and 401(k) rollovers, annuities, and education savings.

In addition, Hanscom FCU offers access to life insurance and long-term care insurance.

About Mobile Banking

Hanscom FCU allows members to bank online or through its mobile website or dedicated mobile app. Members can check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, and look up information on rates and branches. It’s also possible to deposit checks through the mobile app. The mobile app is available from Google Play, Apple iTunes, or Amazon.

Additionally. Hanscom FCU allows for online person-to-person payments through PopMoney.

About Hanscom Federal Credit Union

Hanscom Federal Credit Union serves federal employees and their families in Massachusetts. The organization was founded in 1953 and is based in Littleton, Massachusetts, but also has a main office branch on Hanscom Air Force Base.

Hanscom Federal Credit Union derives its name from Lawrence G. Hanscom, a pilot, journalist and founder of the Massachusetts Civil Air reserve. He is the namesake for Hanscom Air Force Base and the Hanscom Field airport, both located near Bedford, Massachusetts.

Hanscom FCU has $1.2 billion in assets and 81,000 members.

Hanscom FCU offers free on-site seminars at workplaces in Massachusetts. The 45-minute “lunch and learn” programs cover such topics as money management, estate planning, and home equity loans.

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

Hanscom Federal Credit Union offers a full array of banking services, allowing it to potentially be the only financial institution a customer needs. Its interest rates are reasonably competitive for a full-service bank, and it offers a number of different account options for those looking to save. The CU Thrive account, with its APY of 5% for the first year, is especially generous. The credit union also offers loan products including mortgages; home equity loans and lines of credit; auto, RV and boat loans; and personal loans. It’s also possible to invest and save for retirement through Hanscom.

People who live in the Boston area will find branches and ATMs plentiful, and the credit union partners with other credit unions around the country for branch access. It also offers mobile banking with check deposit.

DRAWBACKS

Hanscom Federal Credit Union generally restricts memberships to federal employees in Massachusetts and their families. Most people living outside of the state are not eligible to join.

While the credit union has reasonably competitive interest rates, you may be able to find better rates elsewhere. Moreover, many of the best savings rates are restricted to those with high balances.

Additionally, some of the accounts with the best benefits, such as the Kasasa Checking, have high minimum balances or other requirements.